The preliminary hearing for a man accused of manslaughter in the death of an Orem woman will resume next month in 4th Circuit Court.
Most of the preliminary hearing for Vern Nicholes, 53, American Fork, concluded Monday. However, prosecutors asked Judge Joseph I. Dimick if the hearing could be continued to May 6 so an official from the state medical examiner's office could testify. Dimick granted the request.Nicholes is charged in the death of Joy Kay, 57, who died Jan. 16 at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Kay was admitted to the hospital Dec. 24, 1990, with bruises, abrasions and a head injury. At the time she was admitted, Kay claimed to have suffered the injuries by falling down the stairs at her home. Nicholes was Kay's live-in boyfriend.
Dr. Joseph Bergeson, a Provo internist, testified Monday that hospital tests showed Kay had blood clotting on the right side of her brain. Surgery was performed on Christmas Day to remedy the problem, but Kay's condition worsened. Bergeson said the injuries appeared to be worse than those he would expect from a fall.
A hospital nurse testified that while giving Kay a bath, the patient admitted that she had been beaten. A neighbor testified that she had seen Kay once last year with a swollen eye.
If Dimick determines that there is enough evidence supporting the claim that Nicholes committed the crime, he will bind the case over to 4th District Court.